Super Bowl XLVII scores number of firsts


Super Bowl XLVII was notable for a number of firsts, including the first time two brothers coached the opposing teams and the first time the game was delayed because of a power outage in the stadium. The game also marked a number of firsts in the technology realm worth noting:

  • At the New Orleans Superdome, where the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, fans faced a new restriction on what they could carry in. Any wireless devices that might interfere with the arena's new Wi-Fi network had to be left outside, reported Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica. The Superdome expected to support 30,000 fans simultaneously over Wi-Fi, and that meant being able to catch rogue gear--which could be anything from a wireless camera to a laptop to pyrotechnics equipment--via a frequency scan at the entrance to the building. The Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, where the Super Bowl was held last year, supported just 8,260 connections at once.
  • CBS deployed new technology of its own to enable greater zoom and sharper detail on video footage.  The network planned to use more than 80 high-definition cameras plus six new 4K cameras, which sport four times the pixels, reported David Pierce at The Verge. The 4K cameras can be used if television production crews or referees need more detailed replays than the HD cameras provide. For plays that reasonable people might debate forever, the extra clarity in replays may be the start of a whole new ballgame. For fans who wanted to watch the game on a computer rather than a TV, CBS live streamed the whole event, including--for the first time ever, according to GigaOm--the entire half-time show.
  • Super Bowl Sunday historically puts a heavy load on the pizza delivery business, and this year Domino's Pizza made sure its information systems were backed up with a super-robust defensive line-up. The company deployed a 50-person mission control center in Ann Arbor, Mich., where everything from bandwidth and hardware utilization to site response times and social media were monitored, reported Erick Mack at CNET. To handle a 300 percent surge in traffic to its website just prior to kick-off, Domino's started practicing and testing systems in the summer. 
  • In perhaps the biggest technology-related upset at the Super Bowl this year, Samsung won the battle for cool. As Jason Evangelho at Forbes noted, Samsung's 2-minute ad starring Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan vying for the chance to represent "The Next Big Thing" aimed for very broad appeal and "scored a game-winning touchdown." - Caron
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